In This Issue
Who keeps us in cages?..
ENIL launch event in Drama, Greece - Independent Living as a tool for inclusion for disabled across ...
CIL Sofia organise a study visit for Aglaia Katsigianni from Drama, Greece for the European day of p...
Disability Watchdog - the Bulgarian Family Code and its restrictions...
Role model...Juan Benages from Valencia (Spain)...
1st International Conference on Innovative Technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Manifestation in Stockholm against cuts in personal assistance...
First European Mind Change conference in Villach, Austria - May 2 - 4, 2012...
Disability Rights: Voting in Peru...
Campaigns officer needed by Lumos!..
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Independent Living News! Editorial team
Jamie Bolling
Ines Bulic
Juan Benages
Peter Kichashki

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    31st May, 2012


Enil logoIndependent

Living News!

European Network
on Independent Living

Nothing about us without us!


Editorial Team Update


  This May Newsletter of Independent Living is focused on the European day of protest for equal rights for persons with disabilities! We have articles presenting the protest and showing our determination in the fight of our human rights! For example in Sofia, Bulgaria there were international guests and a lot of IL activists that made a huge impact on the national media!   

Besides that you will learn more about the start-up conference in Drama, Greece that was organized by the South Regional team. You will be able to see how is the IL movement developing and we hope that more of you will continue to support us and contribute to the idea of Independent Living all across Europe!



Who keeps us in cages?


European day of protest for equal rights for disabled people in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Several dozen people participated in a protest organized by CIL Sofia in front of the Bulgarian National Assembly inSofia. At the event there were 4 cages - one big enough to fit 5 or 6 people and 3 smaller cages for one or two persons. 



As part of ENIL's South Region work programme there was a launch event to introduce ENIL and the mechanisms of Independent Living in Drama, Greece on the 12th of May, 2012.
 It was attended by 47 participants with equal gender representation. Participants included disabled adults, disabled children and their parents, social workers, teachers and volunteers. 


Aglaia Katsigianni (in red) at the protest organised by CIL Sofia

Aglaia Katsigianni from Drama, Greece was the dear guest of CIL Sofia for the European day of protests for equal rights for disabled people. Katsigianni represents the Paraplegic Association of Drama which is an affiliated member of ENIL. The point of the study visit was to exchange experiences and knowledge of Independent Living between Greece and Bulgaria. Katsigianni participated in the protest organized by CIL Sofia and took part in a meeting with disability activists. She was one of those who volunteered to sit in the cages at the protest in order to symbolize how Bulgarian disability policies keep disabled people caged either in their own homes or within institutions.   




Are disabled people discriminated against by the Bulgarian Family Code?

In 2010 Peter Kichashki, who was to go on to become ENIL's South Regional Coordinator, submitted a complaint to the Bulgarian Committee for Protection Against Discrimination. His protest concerned a clause in the Bulgarian Family Code that had the potential to prevent people born disabled from getting married. The text stated that if there was the possibility that the marriage would produce disabled children, then it could legally be annulled by a public prosecutor.  


Role model


Juan Benages from Valencia (Spain)




Extract of the invitation letter:


'Dear friends,

Over the last few years diverse technological tools have been developed which can offer valuable help for people with autism. The attraction that computers and visual information offer, their predictability and sequential nature, the possibility of customizing the applications adapting them to individual needs... open a wide range of possibilities of working with aspects such as; improvement in communication, social abilities, the structuring of the tasks, adapted leisure time, etc.

If you want to get to know the present and future of the innovating technologies in autism, take advantage by signing on early for the First International Conference on New Technologies for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ITASD) which takes place in Valencia (Spain), from the 6 to the 8 of July 2012....'



May 5th, more than 300 people in Stockholm gathered in a demonstration against cuts in personal assistance.

 There were speeches, singing and poetry reading from the stage and there were also a cage with some users of personal assistance - to clarify what happens when you lose all or part of your personal assistance hours: your home becomes a prison, or worse, you are being forced to live in institutions.  


Read more 

"We have a dream of a society where all people are born equal and remain equal their whole lives, let's achieve it"


Thomas Stenitzer, Founder of Mind Change.


Thomas is one of the founding members of a new NGO, Mind Change, in Carinthia, Austria. Thomas was inspired to start Mind Change by a bad disability-related social experience. Mind Change's aim is to promote the social inclusion of disabled people. 



Conferencia Valencia

Human Rights Watch released an 89 page report 'I want to be a Citizen Just Like Any Other': Barriers to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Peru on the 15thMay 2012. The report is based on interviews with more than 100 people with disabilities and their families, as well as government officials and disability advisors.

The report looked at a policy which was only changed in October 2011 which arbitrarily denied people with sensory, intellectual and psychosocial disabilities their right to vote. It considered them legally incompetent to exercise such a decision


Campaigns officer needed by Lumos!


More details at: